COVID-19 has changed the world and we’re all still being affected by its impact. With the introduction of new strains of the disease and the ongoing lockdown, it's taken longer to return to normal than we thought but with the roll out of vaccines we're looking forward to things improving soon.
The good news is that although children can get COVID-19, evidence suggests they seem to get it less often than adults and it’s usually less serious. Very few children develop serious symptoms and even those with underlying health issues don’t seem to suffer severely.
As parents, we need to be aware of what symptoms to look out for in our children. Of course, the only way to really know is to get a test, but here’s the list of coronavirus symptoms in children from the NHS and the official advice of what to do if your child displays any of these symptoms:
Symptoms of coronavirus in children
a high temperature
a new, continuous cough – coughing a lot, for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
a loss or change to sense of smell or taste – if they can't smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
What to do if your child has any symptoms
If your child displays symptoms, they should be tested to check if they have coronavirus as soon as possible.
Until you get the results, all household members should stay at home and not have visitors. You should only leave your home to have the test.
Anyone in your support bubble should also stay at home if your child has been in close contact with them since their symptoms started or during the 48 hours before they started.
See the official advice from the NHS, including what to do if your child seems really unwell.
Great Ormond Street Hospital (our charity partner) have also got some great advice on how to reduce the risk of infection. They've responded to a comprehensive list of FAQs which you can find here.
If your child has symptoms of a fever, diarrhoea and abdominal pain, the advice is to call NHS 111 or access the service online at 111.nhs.uk.
How to avoid COVID-19 infections spreading
We all know the public information campaign ‘Hands, Face, Space’ to help stop the escalation of infection.
Good hand hygiene is key to reducing the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases too. We all need to be mindful of washing our hands regularly and avoid touching our eyes, nose and mouth and need to instill these habits into our kids.
Adults and children over 11 years old must wear face masks in indoor public spaces, unless you're exempt. It’s important to wear the masks correctly (covering your nose and mouth and fitting securely against the side of your face) and store and maintain them properly. Don’t touch the front of the face mask, or the material that’s been in contact with your nose and mouth. When you remove your face mask it should be stored in a plastic bag until you can wash it. If you have a disposable mask, this should be put in residual waste bin, not a recycling bin.
You can read the official government guidance here.
Transmission of COVID-19 is more likely within 2 metres. It might not always be possible to keep this distance, but being aware and maintaining as much space as possible is a key defence.